Missing what you never gained

Where you are plantedParvaneh gazed out of the window of the taxi, looking outside blankly, reading the name boards for the streets as the taxi passed by. A roadside Parvaneh gazed out of the window of the taxi, looking outside blankly, reading the name boards for the streets as the taxi passed by. A roadside florist had the most different variety of flowers, far different and colorful than the ones the local florists of her city had. “Such beautiful lilies”, her father pointed at the window for her mother to look. Parvaneh really doubted that those were lilies but she didn’t care to dig deeper into the topic.

Parvaneh and her parents have come to a nearby city to meet her father’s ill sister. Parvaneh has never met her aunt much and in general, she is not much attached to her paternal or maternal side of relatives. The necessity of making an obligatory visit to aunt Poonam’s lead the family to take a two-day break from their daily lives and travel to a nearby city.

Parvaneh didn’t want to come because she had to work on her CLRM project, studying the impact of the technological advancements on the unemployment rate, not that she was interested in the subject but she had always dreaded the deadlines and the thought of lacking behind in studies in any way. Nevertheless being a single child is always a struggle, her parents couldn’t let her stay alone for two days and couldn’t leave her at someone else’s house either. She was just waiting for these two days to end.

Aunt Poonam’s house was a decent sized double story house surrounded by a garden from all the sides but the house and the garden were not taken care of that well which was apparent by their appearance. The house had not been painted from like centuries and the garden was filled with weeds and rarely mowed. Parvaneh spent most the noon of her arrival day in the backside verandah on a swing chair. She was mostly collecting data for her project on her laptop that she had bought with her, also this was better than the much-dreaded human interaction. In the evening, she went out with her dad to a nearby market looking for some local street food.
Next morning, Parvaneh woke up early and went out to the balcony. Her room was on the first floor to the rear side such that the balcony faced the house on the right side of her aunt’s house. The door of the room of the other house facing her was also open. There was a canvas in that room which had a painting of a girl sitting on a swing chair with her laptop. Parvaneh couldn’t believe her eyes, it was her sketch from the previous day. First, she thought that maybe she was mistaken but the girl in the sketch was wearing the same blue striped t-shirt that she was wearing yesterday. Though the sketch was extremely fine and intricate she felt kind of exploited.
She wanted to meet the person who made the sketch, ask the reason for breaching her privacy and at the same time appreciate the art. She thought of going to the house but decided to wait in the balcony for that person. She stood there for around 10 minutes when a boy, wearing a brown plaid shirt and baggy faded jeans, looking nearly her age emerged from the right side of the room to grab some textbooks kept on the table behind the canvas.
The boy disappeared to the right side of the room again as immediately as he appeared. She wanted to stop him but didn’t know what to call him. She ran downstairs because she figured that the boy was probably getting ready to go somewhere. The boy appeared on the front porch of his house just as Parvaneh came out of the house. She faked a calm expression on her face and walked to the front gate as if she ran into him by chance.
“Hey!” she said just when he was heading out of his house.
“Hello! Never seen you here before.” He said.
“Yeah, came to see my aunt, she wasn’t feeling well lately.”
“Oh, okay.”
“Did you draw my sketch yesterday when I working in the backyard?” she asked while noticing the freckles on his face. She began to realize that he had deep dark brown eyes and archly curled eyelashes.
With all the noticing of his facial features, she missed the beginning of his answer but the portion she heard was about that how he loves drawing new and different things and usually can’t find much inspiration around.
Parvaneh got stuck at the word inspiration like the guy had actually said that her image of working on her laptop was pretty inspirational for him.
“Is it okay with you that I drew you?”
“Yeah, fine. Do you study arts?” Parvaneh asked randomly.
“No, I am doing bachelors in Aeronautics. Well, I am getting late for my class so I should probably be going. Nice talking to you.”
“Yes alright. I just wanted to say that I really like the drawing.” She paused. “You can text me some time when you are out of ideas as to what to draw. I am not an art person but some of my friends are really good at this stuff.” Parvaneh had no such friends and she didn’t know why she even said that in the first place.
That boy giggled and said okay. Parvaneh wrote her name and number on the backside of his notebook. “Parvaneh, nice name. I am Ayaan.”
“Bye Ayaan.” They both smiled and he left.
Parvaneh came home but couldn’t stop thinking of Ayaan and his drawing. She thought that he would definitely text her. Why wouldn’t he? If he can draw her sketch, he can text her. No text ever came. She would have messaged him if she had his number. She didn’t realize that she could miss a person she had talked to for only 10 minutes. She had infinite imaginary conversations with him in her head but this didn’t make sense, how can you miss something so transitory. She felt stupid and the feeling was real and she knew it. She subdued the feeling because she was missing what she never had.

-Jasnoor Kaur


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